Red Spot Trail Description

Trail signs and intersections
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Trail on map Start of the Red Spot Trail at the Cascade Link The Old Ski Path on the left side of the trail The top of the Red Spot Trail at the Pumpelly Trail Sign at the top of the Red Spot Trail showing the direction of the Pumpelly Trail

Elevation Gain: 909 ft.
Length: 0.82 miles
Difficulty: 4
Popularity: 3

First viewpoint along the trail The Red Spot Trail is reached off of the Cascade Link only about 100 feet above the Birchtoft Trail. Combined with the Birchtoft and Pumpelly Trails, it makes the most direct route to the summit from Gilson Pond. The trail starts off flat with mixed rocks and roots before coming wet section and also a brook crossing where you will need to walk from rock to rock to get across. Almost immediately after this you will reach the first climb which is a series of large rocks arranged like stairs. At the top of this climb, the trail turns right and works around a large rock face on your left. The trail works around the side of this and up to the top of it where just to the left of the trail is a small opening with your first nice view. Now the trail stays mostly level as the surface gains more rocks to walk over. Soon it becomes very rocky while turning to the right and heading up a long steady climb. At the top of this climb the trail goes right again and becomes easier again for a period. The trail stays pretty rocky as it continues uphill and soon comes to the lower end of the Old Ski Path that connects over to the White Dot Trail.

Rocky section of trail Continuing up the trail, you will cross over a brook with a few deep paths in the trail to be careful of. Soon you come to another long rocky climb in the trail that is a little shorter than the last one. After this climb, there remain many large rocks in the trail to hike over. After a left hand turn in the trail, you will actually come to a section that is more boulders than just rocks. After this, you come to another climb that is pretty steep and soon gets you to another view directly behind you to the East. From here the trail starts to be more in the open going over large rock areas and into the trees for short periods. The trail now goes through a series of short climbs followed by more level sections, but still remains pretty rocky. Now you come to another steep climb that works its way over some more very large rocks. This is the last of the hard climbs on the trail though. Now the trail is again a series of short climbs with breaks in between that start to provide more views to the East. After a short period more though, you get your first view of the summit ahead. From here the trail is almost all out in the open with painted markers and small cairns marking the way up the gentle climb to the end of the trail at a very large cairn on the Pumpelly Trail where you can turn left and head to the summit.


When descending... the trail can be found on the Pumpelly Trail marked with a large cairn topped by a wooden sign. The trail starts easy over mostly open rock before starting gently down and into a few more trees. After a little more, you reach the first steep decent over some very large rocks. After this you have a series of quick descents mixed with easier sections. Before long you start back into the trees and then come to another steep and very rocky descent. Continuing on an easier, but still rocky section of trail, you will soon see the Old Ski Path join on your right. Just after this you reach the longest and rockiest descent on the trail. At the bottom the trail turns left traversing across the side of the mountain before going back right and working down and around a large rock face. At the bottom of this you come to a descent that is a series of rocks placed as stairs followed by a brook crossing and then the end of the trail at the Cascade Link. You can turn right here and to continue down the mountain taking the Birchtoft Trail on your left to Gilson Pond or following the Cascade Link to the White Dot Trail and back to the park headquarters.

Trail signs and intersections while descending
Start of the Red Spot Trail at the Pumpelly Trail Sign at the start of the Red Spot Trail Paint on the rocks showing the direction of the Red Spot Trail The Old Ski Path on the right side of the trail The end of the Red Spot Trail at the Cascade Link
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